The French Media's Unusual Reaction to the Arrest of Falun Gong Practitioners - "Orders from Above?"
(Clearwisdom.net) During Hu Jintao's visit to France, French police unreasonably and violently arrested dozens of Falun Gong practitioners in the streets of Paris, executing the "orders from above," claiming "it's illegal to wear yellow clothing" and later they released the practitioners with "no reason for arrest."
After the incident took place, French consulates around the world received phone calls from various international human rights groups, from journalists and Falun Gong practitioners. Different segments of the French government shirked responsibility regarding the incident of French police illegally arresting Falun Gong practitioners. The French media, who had initially actively exposed the Chinese government's effort to prevent the Falun Gong practitioners' participation in the New Year's Parade is now strangely silent, as if nothing had happened. Regarding this situation, a Minghui reporter interviewed Mr. Zhang Jianping, spokesperson for the European Falun Gong Information Center, located in Paris.
Mr. Zhang said, "After the event took place, Falun Gong practitioners delivered public announcements to the local media; during Hu Jintao's speech at the French Parliament, certain human rights organization(s) outside the building protested China's terrible human rights conditions, and Falun Gong practitioners were also present. Many media representatives interviewed those Falun Gong practitioners who recounted their arrest that took place three days ago. Surprisingly, all these media did not mention the police's unreasonable arrest in their reports."
The local media's odd silence and their handling of the incident contrasts drastically with their earlier reaction to the Chinese government representatives' asserting pressure on the Paris government for preventing Falun Gong practitioners from participating in the Chinese New Year Parade. Observers suspect that "orders from above" may have played a role in this case. The French government officials are elected by the people, and a few officials' actions brought shame on the French people and made them accomplices to an act of injustice.
Several days ago, AFP, International Herald Tribune, France Info, the French International Broadcasting Station and Europe's mainstream media all reported on the Chinese authorities pressuring the French government. There were even reporters who called relevant departments in France to express their concern. The European community supported Falun Gong practitioners' right to join the Chinese New Year Parade. European Parliament member Mr. Roger Helmer pointed out, "The possible exporting of these practices [the persecution] to EU Member States is completely unacceptable."
Zhang Jianping said, "Arresting tourists only because of the color of their clothing and the wording on their scarves will have a great impact on society. This is no different than what a totalitarian regime would do, so such action will terrorize French citizens and destabilize the society. Such behavior goes directly against the Western social system of democracy and freedom, and it also violates France national principles."
According to a member of a Chinese community organization in France, "Several months ago, the Chinese consulate began telling the French government, the police and the local people that Falun Gong practitioners will make trouble during the New Year's Parade and Hu's visit." The local Chinese community also received similar propaganda information from Jiang's group. The abnormal behavior of the French police was obviously due to coercion by Jiang's group.
Falun Gong practitioners have always held peaceful and rational activities that have been acknowledged by countries around the world. They were never suspected or accused of or found to "making trouble."
A commentary pointed out the fact that unreasonably arresting tourists because of the words "Falun Gong" on their clothing is the result of Jiang's group using economic interests and diplomatic tactics to persecute Falun Gong abroad. Jiang's group, the atrocious persecutors of Falun Gong, are the ones who spelled trouble in France, a land that treasures freedom, equality and humanity.